Entrepreneur Randon Morris warns people against manipulating and faking reviews to get more traffic. He understands how important reviews and feedback are to the growth of a business. Reviews attract site visitors to your page to check out what you’re selling. If the visitors are satisfied with what they’ve seen, they go ahead to purchase your products. Sites that lack reviews have low click and purchase rates. Therefore, many business owners employ Advertisers that manipulate and fake reviews.’
However, Randon Morris is against this idea. No matter how good fake reviews are, if your products and services are poor, people will stop patronizing you.
In his words, “the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will penalize anybody caught manipulating or faking reviews to deceive clients.”
Randon Morris is an I.T. and business professional with years of experience. He is also an FTC representative. He’s innovative, creative, and enterprising.
Why is the FTC Intervening?
Many businesses have deceived their clients with fake reviews so that they can purchase their products. This is called manipulation through ads and reviews. This practice is becoming too much to the extent that the trade commission had to step in.
FTC is put in place to put a stop to corrupt business practices by businesses and big firms. It has laws against manipulated and fake reviews, but it’s tightening the law. Unlike before, the punishment for manipulating and faking reviews is much higher. This includes advertising agencies and platforms that help people manipulate fake reviews. Even if you aim to suppress bad reviews, this is still wrong.
Federal Trade Commission has warned platforms that allow such to occur on their turf. These platforms encourage these shady acts when they don’t have proper disclosure tools.
New guides for endorsing products and services have emerged with new punishments for offenders. No matter how smart you are, you’ll be caught. The trade commission lamented that advertisers use new methods to reach their target audience. They use social media to mislead buyers to buy defective products. Some use stealth ads targeted toward children to manipulate them into liking a product. When the children like the product through manipulation, they’ll ask their parents to buy it for them.
FTC was established to protect the interests of consumers, especially against misleading marketing.
On social media, some influencers receive money to make positive review posts about a product or service. However, they’ll pretend to their followers and audience that they bought the products and give positive reviews. This will mislead their followers to purchase the products because they trust the words of the influencers. Many people have ended up falling into investment scams, being scammed of their money, and buying fake products. This has created a sort of distrust in influencers by social media influencers. People no longer trust products and services advertised by influencers on social media. In return, this has affected businesses that provide genuine reviews for their genuine products and services.
The FTC Guide
More than three decades ago, the Guide for Endorsement was created and edited almost thirty years later. The aim is to guide business owners on how to create genuine ads through honest endorsements and reviews. Any advertiser that lies to prospective buyers has violated the Guide.
Advertisers must be honest with their audience. They must let them know that they have received payment for doing the reviews.
Similarly, the trade commission wanted to amend the Guide again because it previously had loopholes. The new Guide will include rules that govern the use of influencers to manipulate buyers. It also includes using social media to fake reviews and manipulate buyers.
The revisions include:
- Social Media lacks the proper disclosure tools for doing endorsements and ads, which can lead to liabilities.
- If advertisers procure, suppress, boost, organize, or edit clients’ reviews, they should not manipulate the clients’ thoughts on the products.
- Suppressing reviews will be included in the new Guides.
- There will be a law that governs Social Media tags.
- The rule will include the use of virtual non-human influencers or robot influencers.
- Advertisers and marketers should not aggressively micro-target some of their audience to manipulate them.
- Child stealth marketing will be addressed in the new Guides. This is because children are innocently more receptive to manipulated ads. Advertisers are taking advantage of children’s interests and emotions. They manipulate the children and use them to force their parents to buy the advertised products. This issue will be addressed in the upcoming event. The event is open to the public to create awareness of child stealth marketing. FTC plans to let the parents know what to do so that their children can recognize good or bad products. They’ll teach the parents to let the children know how to differentiate between a real and a bad review.
The review documents were submitted for voting at a meeting held by FTC. The public can vote and comment on their thoughts about the review two months after it is published. You can find the documents on the FTC website. Your vote and comments count a lot. It will help the trade commission know what the public thinks about the additional rules and guidelines.
FTC is more concerned about protecting the rights of consumers against manipulative ads and marketing. As an endorser or advertiser, being honest pays more than being dishonest. When you’re honest and truthful, your followers or audience will be endeared to you. According to Randon Morris, “they’ll trust you more and purchase the advertised products.”